Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launched its sixth trip into space on Thursday, helping make one woman’s dream of reaching a Guinness World Record come true.
Previously, Vanessa O’Brien scaled the peak of Mount Everest in 2012, and two years later, the British-American dived 35,843 feet to the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point on Earth.
The launch was delayed for 20 minutes, leaving the crew waiting inside the capsule. However, when the clock hit at 9:57 am local time, New Shepard ignited its seven engines, and the team took off.
“God speed Titanium feather,” a Blue Origin commenter said, referring to the name the crew dubbed themselves.
O’Brien was born and raised in Michigan and moved to London in 1999. She began a career in consumer accounts for many large banks such as Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays Bank. However, when the recession hit in 2010, she needed to change her course. As a result, she quit her job to embark on a journey to complete the Explorer’s Extreme Trifecta.
O’Brien completed her last segment of the Trifecta when she joined Jeff Bezos and other crew members on the New Shepherd rocket at Blue Origin’s West Texas facility.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin mission successfully launches six more crew members into suborbital flight
The rocket hit Max Q, when an aerospace vessel’s atmospheric flight reaches its full dynamic pressure one minute and five seconds after launch. After that, it proceeded to travel over 1,600 miles per hour.
At the two minutes and 31 seconds mark, the shiny, white crew capsule parted from the rocket and continued its voyage toward space. The capsule floated for about five minutes at 62 miles above the surface. Then, three parachutes shot out of the capsule at eight minutes and 30 seconds, assisting the vehicle as it comes back to the ground for a soft landing in the Texas desert.
Jeff Bezos and the crew can be heard screaming “we aren’t going to die” from inside the capsule. In addition, others described how they felt sweaty from the epic journey.
The trip lasted 10 minutes and 27 seconds, but as one commentator said, their “experience will last a lifetime.”
In addition, Thursday’s mission also marks the 22nd time the New Shepard has launched. All six members received a unique challenge coin shortly after arriving at the training center before take-off.
The coin represents belonging and the achievement of something truly remarkable. The coin is only awarded to astronauts who passed the rigorous training.
The team climbed the tower about half an hour before launch. Once at the top, each rang a silver bell before walking through a tunnel to the launch capsule. By 10:09 am ET, the crew had finished what they call “one of the most amazing days of their lives.” As a result, each crew member has now been deemed an astronaut.